Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Debunking the Debunkers.

Wintery Knight has a post on the debunking of the "Jesus Wife gospel."

My fifteen year old brought me the Smithsonian article, pointed to the bold words that a "gospel" said that "Jesus had a wife" and asked me what was up with that?  I explained that every so often some scholars with a particular axe to grind would get a piece of text written hundreds of years after the fact and, usually, mistranslate it so as to come up with a conclusion that would support their agenda.

Then I read the Smithsonian article.  My points were all in the article, but usually in soft disclaimers after the real attention was given to the nonsense.

Take the "Wife of Jesus" nonsense.  It is a scrap of paper the size of a credit card that has six incoherent, widely separated lines. It was written in the Third or Fourth Century.  One line says something to the effect that "Jesus said, "my wife...."  and another line mentioned "disciple."  The "discovery" was made by a extreme-feminist professor.

What are the odds that there has been a mistranslation? Probably pretty good.

But let's say there isn't and let's play the debunking game that secular atheists play when it comes to Christian sources, how do we know that the "Jesus" mentioned in this text is even Jesus of Nazareth? Jesus/Joshua/Yeshua was not an uncommon name.  Certainly, there is a reference in a completely different line that has no clear connection to the first line save for being on the same page to "disciples,"but could that be completely unrelated to this "Jesus" or perhaps there was another "Jesus" who had disciples.

In short, what connection is there to this document and to anything having to do with any kind of Christianity?  None, whatsoever unless you happen to be an extreme-feminist with an axe to grind.

But let's say that it is a reference to Jesus of Nazareth, then that would only mean that somebody writing hundreds of years later for reasons that no one knows has a sentence that may say Jesus said "my wife."  Was it a parable?  Was intended as a reference to the Church, i.e., the bride of Christ?  Who knows because there is no information in this scrap of paper.

1 comment:

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